And why it pays to be an active listener.
Teacher: Tell me a sentence that starts with an “I”.
Student: I is the….
Teacher: Stop! Never put ‘is’ after an “I”. Always put ‘am’ after an “I”.
Student: OK… I am the ninth letter of the alphabet.
This has happened to me more times than I care to admit. Sometimes, I have this overwhelming need to finish someone’s
sentence for them, as if it’s a race to the punchline. For someone in sales, this is more than just a terrible habit, it’s a quick way to make your customer feel uncomfortable, unappreciated, even angry.
There are plenty of resources online about how to best communicate with your customer in any kind of situation, including specific articles and books about active listening
. It’s all great stuff. I thought this little story was a great reminder to listen more than you speak
in any conversation, especially when you’re trying to help your customer solve a problem, because otherwise you might miss something really important.
We look forward to working with you on your project!